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Meet Kelly

photo of Kelly Perfield

Click to hear Kelly's advice!

Kelly Perfield is a Technical Sales Consultant for Elanco Animal Health.  She has a unique job in that she uses her vast knowledge of dairy cows to help producers and the people who care for, feed, and raise the animals.  We recently caught up with Kelly and asked her what a "Day in the Life" is like for her:

Describe a typical day at work for you.

"No day in my job is exactly the same…I work on very diverse tasks.  I don’t work directly with animals but I do spend a lot of time with dairy producers, on their dairy farms, talking with them about how to best use our products.  I also spend time with University people talking with them about how to design research trials, and also with dairy nutritionists working with them on how to best use our feed additives."  Sounds like Kelly has an interesting job where she is able to help the people who work with the animals on a daily basis! "

What are 3 skills you use regularly?

  • Organization
  • Good communication skills
  • Teamwork

What do you like most about your job?

"I like the diversity of working with many different kinds of people (dairy producers, veterinarians, professors) on many different tasks.  The diversity of my job is rewarding."

Would you have pictured yourself in this career? 

"I would never have pictured myself in this job.  I never thought of myself as a scientist, and I would never have pictured myself in a sales position.  I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian.  However, I got interested in research as an undergraduate and it eventually evolved into this job."  Isn’t it exciting to see where your experiences and career can take you?

What background and training do you have?

"I have a Bachelor’s from the University of Illinois, and a Masters and PhD from Cornell, all in Animal Science.  We have a lot of ongoing training which I didn’t expect from my employer.  We have leadership training as well as technical skill training".  Sounds like learning never ends!"

Do you have any advice for students interested in careers with animals?

"My advice would be if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you probably need to get on a farm.  It’s good to know the day-in-and-day-out operation of what goes on the farm.  Also internships can give you an idea of jobs that you don’t want, which is sometimes more valuable than finding out what you do want to do".

It sounds like although Kelly didn’t know exactly where her career was going to take her, she’s extremely happy with the outcome!